During rice (Oryza sativa L.) seed development, the primary endosperm nucleus undergoes a series of divisions without cytokinesis, producing a multinucleate cell, known as a syncytium. After several rounds of rapid nuclear proliferation, the syncytium ceases to undergo mitosis; thereafter, the syncytium is partitioned into individual cells by a specific type of cytokinesis called cellularization. The transition between syncytium and cellularization is important in determining the final seed size and is a model for studying the cell cycle and cytokinesis. The involvement of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors (CKIs) in cell cycle control was investigated here during the transition between syncytium and cellularization. It was found that one of the rice CKIs, Orysa;KRP3, is strongly expressed in the caryopsis at 2 d after flowering (DAF), and its expression is significantly reduced at 3 DAF. The other CKI transcripts did not show such a shift at 2 DAF. In situ hybridization analysis revealed that Orysa;KRP3 is expressed in multinucleate syncytial endosperm at 2 DAF, but not in cellularized endosperm at 3 DAF. Two-hybrid assays showed that Orysa;KRP3 binds Orysa;CDKA;1, Orysa;CDKA;2, Orysa;CycA1;1, and Orysa;CycD2;2. By contrast, Orysa;CDKB2;1 and Orysa;CycB2;2 do not show binding to Orysa;KRP3. Orysa;KRP3 was able to rescue yeast premature cell division due to the dominant positive expression of mutant rice CDKA;1 indicating that Orysa;KRP3 inhibited rice CDK. These data suggest that Orysa;KRP3 is involved in cell cycle control of syncytial endosperm.